Steamboat soccer ties rival Moffat County
Sailors, Bulldogs battle to 3-3 finish
Craig — The Steamboat Springs High School boys varsity soccer team has played four games this season, and in each of those contests the other team has scored first.
The Sailors again started slow Thursday, allowing Western Slope League rival Moffat County High School to take an early 1-0 lead.
But Steamboat pushed back and left Craig with a 3-3 tie.
“I don’t really have an answer for why we allow early goals,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “The game isn’t decided in the first five or 10 minutes but over 80 minutes. But conceding the first goal is a concern for us. We just have been able to get back in.”
Moffat County junior Alan Flores scored the opening goal of the game, but Steamboat junior Mac Noel tied it up quickly after dribbling through the Bulldogs’ defense.
Steamboat senior Enrique Lopez broke the tie early in the second half with a kick that was out of reach for the Moffat County goalie.
Moffat County senior captain Jonathan Pando scored in a third straight game when he shot from beyond midfield to tie the game, 2-2.
Bohlmann said the Sailors (3-0-1 overall, 1-0-1 league) lacked consistency throughout the game.
“At times, we were solid, but the way Moffat County plays, it’s effective for them, but it throws us off,” he said. “Not being able to play the game in our rhythm explains the lack of consistency.”
Moffat County (1-1-2 overall, 0-0-1 league) played through injures for a second straight game, coach Rusty Cox said, but the team made adjustments to stay competitive.
“We have three defenders who are either sick or have hip injuries, so our defense wasn’t as solid as it normally is,” he said. “But we never quit. Playing Steamboat, you never know who is going to win or lose, and it was a battle we were looking forward to since the season began.”
Noel broke the tie once again for the Sailors after putting a header into the corner of the Moffat County net with about 10 minutes left in the game.
The Bulldogs tried different positions for some players because of the injuries, and Cox said the changes disrupted the team’s rhythm early.
However, Moffat County junior Alex Perez checked back into his normal forward position after the Sailors goal and scored in less than a minute off an assist from Flores to again knot the game at 3-3.
“We knew we would have to make adjustments because of our defensive injuries, so we tried different things during practice,” Cox said. “But when Alex was in his normal position, him and Alan had chemistry, and it made everyone play better.”
The two teams will close the season with a rematch Oct. 20 in Steamboat.
Bohlmann said his team has to capitalize on scoring chances.
“There were a lot of opportunities we could have put the ball in the back of the net, and we didn’t,” he said. “We were in front of the net often. We just have to capitalize.”
The Sailors are set to host Battle Mountain High School on Saturday.
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